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JackBludis's Discussions

What is the Modern Thriller Paradigm?
26 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Christopher Valen Aug 3, 2010.

Who read "War and Peace" and what did you see that made it a classic.
47 Replies

Started this discussion. Last reply by Joyce Ann Fugit Mar 27, 2011.

What do you think of Lizbeth Salender
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Started this discussion. Last reply by JackBludis Aug 1, 2010.


JackBludis's Page


My now deceased ex-wife and lifetime friend, once called me a "Magnificent Hack." By that, I assumed that she was either damning me or praising me, but we have always been friends so I opt for calling it praise.

Like most writers--at least I've been told--I have a magnum opus that I will probably never be satisfied with.  I've only been working on it since 1993 and perhaps even earlier than that.

My first ego booster came when my "Advanced Creative Writing" professor looked at our first pieces and in the next class began with, "A number of these pieces were good, but one ..." He shook his head and clicked his tongue, then read my first effort "Sunday on the Rhine" which became the springboard for my first Atlantic Monthly submission.

I'll share something here which I am sure many writers have experienced. (It's happened to me twice and once recently.) I was rejected, of course, what first efforts aren't? But the last line of the rejection, which they must have been using forever and probably still are, was, "You write with a facility that has held our attention." That's the kind of thing that kept me going until I sold my first book to an editor who said, "I like the book, but a need a cleaner manuscript." (Take heed new writers.)

Another thing that kept me going was in my college clique, if you can call a bunch of outsiders a clique, when one of the group said, "You know we all talking about writing, but Jack will be the one who won't give up. (I sold my first novel and my first shortly before I graduated.) I believe that the others are now all academics--some of whom have made the news for notable exploits.

Sometimes today, I will look at a line or a paragraph or a story or even an entire novel and think, "This is crap," or "This is terrific." There's never an in between. Ironically, I'll often think the same thing at different times about the same line, paragraph, chapter, or story of my own. That's an attitude that many writers have, why should you or I be different. (This perception was verified by a recent award winner whose work and opinion I respect.)

Oh, yeah, about that hack thing: For while, I was publishing one piece of crap after another, and selling most of what I sent out. Now, I'm more discriminating about what I send out, more discriminating about what I write and publish--well, usually. It's nice to have a few extra bucks coming in.

My opus has been through several cycles in its twenty-some years. Once, I even an agent even called me out of the shower on Sunday morning to tell me I had a bestseller on my hands--two weeks later, he decided not to handle it.

In the later 1990s reincarnation of the same book, an agent agreed to handle it. She sent out what I had sent her as a final draft to ten publishers at the same time. The book--my fault--was minus 100 pages in the middle. She claimed she liked it. She seemed never to notice that it had continuity problems.

I've been nominated for The Shamus for my Paperback Original "Shadow of the Dahlia," and for both the Shamus and Anthony for my short story, "Munchies." ("Shadow" and a volume of stories, "Munchies and other tales of Guys, Gals, and Guns," is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other outlets.) You can she the entire Jack Bludis list at Amazon. My current favorite is an Amazon Novella, "Dirty Work." which is available at Amazon.


Jack Bludis, updated 11-11-11


Profile Information

About Me:
I am the author of more than 70 published novels and novellas, and almost 900 published stories in various genres and sub-genres. My best works are private-eye mysteries under my own name mysteries set in various historical periods. New issues and reprints will be out shortly from Pageturneditions.com

As all writers, I am also a reader.

This updated on 9-8-2011
I Am A:
Reader, Writer
http://Jackbludis.com But crimespace tells you what you need.
Books And Authors I Like:
Chandler, Hammett, Ed McBain, Hemingway, Faulkner, Joyce, James Lee Burke, Cormac McCarthy; the Moe Prager series and the latest two Robert B. Parker's by Reed Farrel Coleman, and Richard Helms (the novelist not the spy), Laura Lippman, Vicki Hendricks, Megan Abbot--and indispensable for a writer, "Strunk and White's, The Elements of Style." And how did I forget Will Shakespeare the first time around? Him too. And may I also add Steig Larsson of "The Girl who ..." Series, may he rest in peace.
Movies And TV Shows I Like:
The Big Bang Theory, Casablanca, Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, Murder My Sweet, the Godfather I, Chinatown, LA Confidential. I never tire of seeing and dissecting Casablanca.

Saturday Night Live--although I don't get all the humor anymore, it's an age thing. This show for 40 years has kept up with what 20-somethings are laughing at. It has also turned out some damn good actors as well as comedians. The constant reruns are a drag because topical material out of date is stale.

Favorite Networks AMC, TCM, TNT, and USA.

Letterman, yes. Leno, no. The Daily Show, and some things on the History Channels (The first time I see them.)

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JackBludis's Blog


In one sense, voice cannot be taught, just as good writing
cannot be taught, but it can be learned.

I think voice is developed from writing thousands upon
thousands, even millions of words, and of course reading
more words than we write.

Summary: Voice can't be taught, unless the student has the
ability to learn, but I think most learn it by

Posted on August 1, 2007 at 6:49am — 5 Comments

Cormac McCarthy

Two of the last three books that I have read "The Road" and "No Country for Old Men." And they are probably THE two best books I have read in the last twenty years.

The style is unique, but well planned. The text conversational complete with some phonetic spelling,…


Posted on May 25, 2007 at 11:00pm — 16 Comments

Comment Wall (340 comments)

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At 1:44pm on December 7, 2010, Joyce Ann Fugit said…
Always happy to share. Thanks for the friend request. If I had time now, I would send you the amusing sentence from The Maltese Falcon where Hammitt artfully avoided using the MF phrase (I think it was), because such things weren't done then. It really stood out when I read the book recently. I may have posted it around here once during some previous heated exchange.
At 1:26pm on November 10, 2010, Ryan Jackson said…
Reading through it I see there's a lot of stuff on there that I wouldn't consider a "favorite" of mine. lol I just transferred over the films from my facebook account, and apparently anything that I "like" on there is automatically added to the list. That's good to know. That'll teach me not to copy paste stuff. I've scaled it down some.
At 1:18pm on November 10, 2010, Ryan Jackson said…
lmao! Yeah I like a lot of movies, but that's not even close to how many I've actually seen.
At 9:17pm on October 31, 2010, Siobhan C Cunningham said…
thank you Jack...
At 12:55am on October 23, 2010, Reed Farrel Coleman said…
Thanks so much. High praise from you. I was glad for us, but mostly for David Thompson's memory. I cried in front of 1000 people. Very liberating experience. See you in Philly.
At 8:25am on September 13, 2010, Hallie Ephron said…
Thanks for your comments and encouragement, Jack! We're "Jungle Red Writers"! And they're a bunch of pretty independent women...
At 2:46am on September 12, 2010, J W Nelson said…
excellent points about John D. Definitely a heavy dose of macho. (I believe I did that friend approval but I will doublecheck; still getting used to CS software)
At 12:17pm on September 11, 2010, J W Nelson said…
thanks for the invite! Must confess that Cussler also lost me after his first efforts.

But don't get me started on John D MacDonald. I re-read him regularly.

best regards
At 12:22am on September 11, 2010, Hallie Ephron said…
Hey, Jack! I'm still getting the hang of this place...
At 12:40pm on August 19, 2010, Joy Matkowski said…
Easily, if you see the trouble I've made here already.

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